Originally Posted by kevinm
I think some are under-rating the trainability of cats. I think that a cat can be trained (using operant conditioning / Pavlovian techniques etc) not to get on the bed. But I'm not sure how to go about it. It'll be hard to cover the bed in tin foil when it's occupied. The suggestion about SSSCAT is a good one but would still be difficult to use for the bed (might work better to keep him out the room though...).
While I appreciate your comment you must keep in mind ALL cats are different. There are so many different ways to keep cats off of counters, bookshelves, etc. and I have been thru all of them (haven't used SSS cat yet due to $$) without any success. However, I know of other cats that have had success with many of the same methods, however, not mine. But if you search the archives you will find brilliant ideas that might work for your cat. They work for others.
Some cats can be "trained", coaxed, encouraged and all of that easier than others, my cat comes when called -usually gets a treat so I have trained her to hear a certain sound and that that means food, fetches, and is great when I clip nails, give a bath, clean ears, etc. all of that is training, but not really in one sense as the cat doesn't mind any of this and it is a different skill set than banishment of something (for instance, never getting on the counters ever with nasty litterpaws).
I do very much understand training philosophies, conditioning, rewards, etc. and make those work for me daily and love to work with my dogs and they love to work too, cats are very much different than dogs. Most all animals behavior can be modified to a degree, however, what you are wishing to accomplish with your cat is not the same. With behavior mods you are usually giving the animal something in exchange for a desired behavior. Slowly shaping or molding or tapping into their needs and wants. You are wanting to extinguish a behavior regardless of if you are or aren't around and you are not substituting anything for avoiding that behavior. This isn’t the same as Pavlov’s. You preparing your cats food and your cat coming running and acting crazy since they know what is coming next are Pavlov type training, there are also other examples of course.
You can squirt the cat with a water bottle when you find cat on bed, but it probably won't have the effect you want, althought it might with some cats, yours might be one of them. But then it is not good to get water in their ears so that is always a concern. And you can't always catch the cat every time cat is on the bed so the msg you send to cat is it is okay if you are on the bed as long as this person is not around. Or you can verbally scold cat when on the bed, but you get the same thing. Cats will do as they please until they have a reason not to, and YOU will be the reason not to, but if you are not around then it can be a free for all.
That is why I suggested the SSS cat. There is another method I can think of that doesn't require humans to be around but it is not encouraged on this forum and I don't think it is right either for this issue when you can shut the bedroom door.
Good luck to you.